Our family is big into the outdoors. We love to camp, hike, fish, bike, and many other things. We basically just love to explore mother nature. Living in Utah has provided a plethora of beautiful country to see and experience! Camping in our trailer is probably my favorite way to live outdoors. Hello toilet and shower! But I don’t mind going the tent route and we have even been known to sleep in our 4Runner as well. That is the best for snuggles!
On our most recent outing, I started thinking about yoga and camping. Yoga is a huge part of my lifestyle and when I miss a few days of practicing, I feel it, so I really don’t like to miss more than one day. But I also don’t really want to roll out my mat on the dirty ground and try to do an hour-long class in the middle of our campsite. I mentioned the dirt, right? While I DO love me some mountain air, grounding my root chakra, getting in touch with the energies of the earth, and all that jazz, I DON’T like to be dusty and dirty. When my hands feel gritty and dusty, it’s just, eww!
So, I came up with ten yoga poses that you can do in your trailer. Or tent, or the back of your car, or any other tight space you might find yourself in. These poses are perfect for re-centering, re-connecting to your breath, calming your mind, and even loosening up all those muscles you use exploring this beautiful Earth.
(All photos posted below are meant to showcase the poses’ ability to be done in tight spaces. For more visual alignment tips and cues, please click on the links I have provided for each posture.)
1. Child’s Pose - Balasana
While we mostly see this posture done between more difficult postures, Balasana is a great restorative pose that gently stretches your hips, thighs and shoulders. It can also relieve back and neck pain. Child’s pose is a great posture for mindfulness meditation to calm and re-connect to your breath.
2. Puppy Pose - Uttana Shishosana
You may feel a bit silly with your booty sticking straight up in the air, but this pose is great for lengthening the spinal column and all the muscles associated with it. It is a deep shoulder opener as well. If you do any hiking while wearing a backpack, this pose is your BFF! In the picture above, you can see my hips are slightly forward. This is not quite correct as your hips should be directly above your knees in a 90 degree angle. My bad!
3. Upward Facing Dog – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
Up dog, as it’s often called, is perfect for opening and stretching the front side of your body, from your chest and shoulders down to your hip flexors. It strengthens your glutes, arms, wrists and spine, as well as reversing the effects of fatigue.
4. Cat/Cow Stretch - Marjaryasana/Bitilasana
These poses will warm up and stretch your spine. They massage your abdominal organs and stretch your neck. I love using these postures in a flow-like pattern to really re-connect and deepen my breath.
5. Pidgeon Pose and King Pidgeon Pose – Kapotasana/Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
The top picture is a variation of King Pidgeon pose and should definitely be done first. Both stretch and lengthen the thigh, psoas, abdomen, chest and shoulders. They both also prepare you for deeper backbends. When you are ready to deepen your stretch, bend your knee and grab your foot as shown in the second picture. I love these two poses to counteract those tight hip flexors after hiking uphill.
6. Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana
This is one of the best hip openers around, really targeting those outer hip muscles. It’s perfect for counteracting scrunched up hip flexors after sitting for long periods of time, maybe on a four-wheeler ride, or from hiking uphill. You may even feel this posture stretching your inner thighs if they are really tight. Adding a forward fold, as pictured above, deepens the stretch in the outside of your hips and adductor muscles.
7. Bound Angle Pose with a spinal twist
This pose brings all of the benefits listed above for bound angle pose but adds a delicious spinal stretch from your sacrum to your cervical spine. It’s great for easing lower back pain as well. Although not pictured, make sure you twist to both sides. We don’t want you feeling lopsided, anatomically or energetically!
8. Wide Angle Seated Forward Fold – Upavistha Konasana
This pose is one of my go to’s for an inner thigh and groin stretch. As pictured above, propping yourself up on some pillows makes it a more restorative pose that’s perfect for calming the mind and cultivating deep breathing.
9. Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana
This is a restorative pose, gently stretching your groin, hips and lower back. It’s also great for relieving fatigue and stress and calming the mind. You can sway side to side for an even greater release and calming effect, just like rocking a baby. Happy, indeed!!
10. Knees to Chest Pose – Apanasana
This pose works wonders on your lower back! Rocking side to side can bring added relief to the groin and sacrum.
I love that yoga can be whatever you need it to be and when you need it to be You really can take your yoga practice with you anywhere. When you need a low key, restorative practice to fit in your camping trailer, yoga can be that! And it's still practicing even if it's not fancy and you're wearing your sweats. I think you will find that these poses will only add to the good vibes you are getting from Mother Nature! Happy Camping! Namaste.